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  • Medical Shots Needed to Travel to South Africa

    Medical Shots Needed to Travel to South Africa
    Visitors to South Africa are advised to acquire several immunizations as preparation for their travels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies vaccinations in addition to up-to-date routine immunizations. The South African government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only when visitors arrive from countries known to have yellow fever infections currently present. Vaccinations and boosters should be administered one month in advance of travel in order to prevent infection.


    Vaccination against measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diptheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) and polio should be current. Travelers are advised to discuss a travel itinerary and personal medical records with a physician; they should acquire any necessary boosters one month or more in advance of arrival in South Africa.

    Hepatitis A

    Visitors should be immunized against hepatitis A regardless of agenda due to risk of infection in South Africa. Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food and water, and it has been contracted by travelers in quality lodging conditions with treated food and water sources.

    Hepatitis B

    Travelers should acquire the hepatitis B vaccination well in advance of arrival in South Africa. Visitors who will be at high risk of infection--through sexual activity with native people, by giving or receiving medical attention, or any transfer of potentially contaminated body fluids--are strongly advised to acquire this vaccination.


    Visitors spending time in rural South Africa and those who will take lodging in private residences are recommended to acquire the typhoid vaccination to prevent infection from food and water sources.


    The CDC recommends the rabies vaccination for visitors who will spend time in rural South Africa or who will have contact with local animals. Children are strongly advised to acquire this immunization because the likelihood of contact with infected animals is higher, and the extent of injury is commonly more severe.

    Yellow Fever

    Visitors are required to show proof of vaccination again yellow fever when entering South Africa from a country with known cases of the illness. Travelers reaching South Africa as part of a larger travel itinerary should take this into consideration.

    Article Written By Kate Downs

    Kate Downs is a writer of 20 years with hundreds of published works. Downs is an expert author on eZineArticles, an authority contributor to eHow, and an independent writer for a number of online publications. As a writer for Demand Studios, Downs performs extensive research on health and neurological wellness.

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